Friday 16 June 2017
People said last summer that Jeremy Hunt had become the longest serving Secretary of State for Health after four years. Not strictly true as the role had a different name – and longer incumbents – in the 60s and 70s. That said, with Mr Hunt staying in post, we can look to consistency of policy and, I hope, an expectation of delivery on mental health manifesto pledges. As I said before the vote, it is good to see mental health featuring in all the main parties’ documents. Amid all the national and international politics that will dominate the next few years – we, the NHS, expect those in power to honour those commitments.
This has been diabetes awareness week. Our team are at Litherland Tesco this afternoon (Friday) offering blood glucose checks and we’ve been tweeting messages and helpful advice. It’s also good to see how our CCG and GP partners in Sefton are raising awareness. Sefton has over 6 per cent of its population diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – a human cost and a cost to services. The great work of Sefton’s CCG and GPs are important steps in pushing against the obesity trend and Trust colleagues from the former LCH are a valued new part of this.
Also it is Carers Week. These national theme weeks may seem endless and arbitrary but they serve as a very useful reminder of important issues and enable us to focus attention on areas that may get pushed into the background.
I hope all staff are aware of the vital and valued role of carers, especially in supporting those with learning disabilities and mental health issues. I have been proud to meet many of them. We invited one family to speak to the Board just a few months back – heart-breaking, inspiring and motivating are words that come to mind. Many carers speak of their experience of our staff in the highest terms, and as critical friends, they are invaluable as a part of our MDTs. Events for Carers Week in the Trust conclude tomorrow (Saturday) in Whalley with a day that will hit the spot perfectly for the excellent carers in the LD Division; mixing food and fun, serious strategic discussion with a light hearted presentation from service users.
Managers briefing – in Brief
My thanks to everyone who attended the managers’ briefing in Walton on Tuesday, in particular the many former LCH staff. I was delighted to particularly welcome them because it has been my ambition to break down the barriers between mental and physical health and our Associate Director Judith Malkin spoke with passion about how she’d been waiting more than twenty years to see these closer ties between services. Now together we can work in a more integrated way to help our local communities, especially our ageing population which is at the forefront of many community physical health services.
It’s important that all staff feel valued and supported but this week I am happy to focus a little on our managers and to thank them in particular for their work, often unseen, for their teams. We opened up the new Managers’ Hub on the intranet a couple of weeks back and we spoke about it to managers on Tuesday. The data shows that it is well used, with plenty of you clicking through to access it from this newsletter. With new content appearing regularly, I can continue to recommend the Hub as a valuable asset for existing and aspiring managers alike.
The Clinical Model of Care
My thanks to staff – ward managers, specialist leads, directors – from Whalley and guests from Scott Clinic and STAR unit for what has been described as a very successful development day in the Specialist LD Division. Dr Frank McGuire and Fran Cairns presented the new clinical model alongside colleagues from Scott House who were able to examine and input into plans for learning disabilities’ service delivery in the future. The teamwork on show and the willingness to get provision right for service users made for an incredibly valuable event.
Best wishes Neil
I want to wish good luck to Neil Blomley, support worker in the Specialist LD Division. Neil’s work with one particular service user has seen him shortlisted as finalist at Wednesday’s National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards Ceremony.
Neil’s work with the service user and their family, including fund raising for the charity Mind has long been recognised within his team and division. I know he will impress the judges as much as he’s impressed his colleagues. Neil was nominated by Amy Shaw at Scott House and many of you will remember Amy’s recent blog on Just and Learning Culture. I’ll use this opportunity to send my public thanks to that whole team in Rochdale as well at a time of great change.
Can I remind you about our scheme for recognising and rewarding staff who make a difference to the lives of service users, patients, carers, families and colleagues. By clicking on Your Recognition on the intranet you can send a values-based “thank you” to colleagues and submit nominations for employee and team of the month. This really matters. As well as being polite and friendly, every time you send or receive a "thank you" it is recorded in your PACE and is a valuable source of feedback to enhance your PACE conversation about values and behaviours. Almost 9000 have been sent since the initiative was launched in 2015 and they have a positive impact on our staff.